Author Archives: Joel D. Hirst

About Joel D. Hirst

Joel D. Hirst is a novelist and a playwright. His most recently released work is "Dreams of the Defeated: A Play in Two Acts" about a political prisoner in a dystopian regime. His novels include "I, Charles, From the Camps" about the life of a young man in the African camps and "Lords of Misrule" about the making and unmaking of a jihadist in the Sahara. "The Lieutenant of San Porfirio" and its sequel "The Burning of San Porfirio" are about the rise and fall of socialist Venezuela (with magic).

The Mountains

I am haunted by mountains, ancient and immutable, unconquerable and mysterious fortresses to the past. Sinews and muscles attached to bone, enveloped by a thin layer of skin, ripping upon contact with a rose thorn or bramble; that is not … Continue reading

Posted in philosophy, Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

The Arriving Ordeal

Originally posted on Joel D. Hirst's Blog:
The Harmattan billows above blotting out the sun, dust coalescing with diluted traces of the acrid garbage fires that warm the ditch beyond the potholed road and the wood smoke from the…

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Return of Pessimism

During the heady days of hubris which now seem so long ago but in reality were only a few months back, I was often accused of pessimism. The world, as I saw it, was not headed to a good place. … Continue reading

Posted in America, International Affairs, philosophy, Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

Giving Up On Hemingway

OK, I give up. “Screw it,” as I’ve been yelled at for saying. Life is too short. 2000 books, that’s what I think I have left to read in my life. One a week; ambitious for sure but I’m trying. … Continue reading

Posted in Book Review, Uncategorized | Tagged , | 6 Comments


I am not a normal travel blogger; not a travel blogger at all really. I frequent the lost places, and sometimes I write about them. It is an uncommon world we live in, that is what the great lockdown has … Continue reading

Posted in Travel, Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

98.6 – A Novel by Leon Surmelian

It’s odd to review a novel about tuberculosis while on lockdown cowering from a pandemic that has killed hundreds of thousands in a matter of weeks. That statement is even strange to write. Had I read this novel only three … Continue reading

Posted in Book Review, Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

In Days of Pest – A Poem

‘Putrid vapors’ did the plague they bring? Miasma fetid, stench that brings the blight? Or was it God who cursed and brought the thing? That robs us of our loves in dead of night. From when it came, so sudden … Continue reading

Posted in Poetry, Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment